Friday night saw French garage-pop act The Liminanas grace the stage of the Brudenell Social Club in support of their new album ‘Shadow People’, supported by Leeds based Girl Sweat and Lewsberg from the Netherlands. The diverse array of styles on offer promised to make for an interesting night of live music.
Hailing from Rotterdam in the Netherlands and the band chosen to open the nights proceedings was Lewsberg, a fairly new and fresh-faced band that appear to have little to no online presence, with the exception of one full album and a couple of EP’s which are available to stream on their bandcamp page.
Lewsberg played a style of music that sat somewhere between Art Rock and Indie, with leanings towards the avant-garde and postpunk end of the spectrum. The band definitely had an interesting sound although the set in general did feel a little under-rehearsed and a couple of unfortunate setbacks such as guitar strings breaking mid-set prevented the band from executing the songs with their intended precision.
Despite these minor criticisms an enjoyable selection of songs from their back catalogue, including personal highlights ‘Glass’, ‘Chances’ and closing number ‘Benefit of the Doubt’, were appreciated by all and received a respectable reaction from the growing crowd. Their melodic and experimental guitar work, alongside the inventively layered male/female vocals, is promising and will undoubtedly continue to improve and thrive with time.Second up was Girl Sweat, a local two-piece that secured a last-minute support slot for the gig. Self-described as “Drugged out noise swirling through the garage spectrum”, they offered a complete diversion in terms of sound compared with openers Lewsberg.
Girl Sweat played a chaotic, almost ritualistic sounding set of electronic noise with an intense vocal assault pouring viscously from both members in accompaniment. The set was composed of such untameable ferocity that it was more of a visual and aural journey as opposed to being easily definable by conventional song structures. The Atari Teenage Riot-esque harshness was delivered in such a way that it was still digestible to a crowd potentially unfamiliar with this type of music, and received a surprisingly positive reaction.
Whilst there are plenty of noise-rock bands on the Leeds scene, I have to say that Girl Sweat are something not quite like anything I’ve seen before. Combining entrancing electronic sounds with discordant beats and multi-layered vocals gives them a memorable uniqueness, and for that reason are sure to find their place amidst the array of exciting new music constantly emerging from the area.
Owing to the technical setbacks of the previous bands, it was around 10.30pm that the Liminanas finally took to the stage. Undeterred by the later than anticipated start, the enthusiastic crowd cheered with great promise as they opened up with the wonderful instrumental track ‘Ouverture’ from the latest album. As a 7-piece they sounded colossal, with a multitude of instruments and vocal styles combining to create a fantastic live rendition of their distinguished and psychedelic garage pop sound.
Drummer and founding member Marie carries the band through with her stripped back, almost punk sounding beats and occupies the centre of the stage, providing a mesmerising focal point. The rest of the band members are equally compelling to watch, with an intoxicating confidence emanating from the stage at all angles. It is clear that at this point in their career The Liminanas have found their stride and a selection of songs from the new album ‘Shadow People’ including ‘The Gift’ and ‘Dimanche’ are executed with a cheerful professionalism. Older number ‘Down Underground’ proves to be a major highlight with its catchy vocal melodies and uplifting guitar work.
For a band that has been active for fewer than 10 years they have a certain complexity and sophistication to their music and performance style that strongly suggests otherwise, and it is an absolute pleasure watching them play to such a deserving, healthy crowd.
Soon enough it was time for the band to wrap up their set where both old and new songs were united in the strong 4 song encore comprised of new album standout ‘Pink Flamingo’, as well as old favourites ‘Russian Roulette’, ‘Angels & Devils’ and ‘Gloria’.
An excellent night was had by all and once again Leeds proved itself to be a prominent force in the live music circuit through both the diversity of the bands playing and the unrelenting support from the punters who frequent the shows.
‘Shadow People’ is out now and available to buy from and all the usual digital download and streaming outlets. The Liminanas are set to continue their tour in Europe throughout the rest of May and into June and we can only hope that they make a quick return the UK with more new material in the near future.
Gary writes for Leeds Living on contemporary music, being an avid goer of gigs and a supporter of local talent.